The Difference Between Old Money Versus New Money

0 August 08, 2017 By Dang

What is the difference between old money versus new money? Let me try and break it down. Old money is established wealth that has lasted through generations. It is not necessarily flashy and the kind of “notice-me” wealth we see all too often now-a-days. When I talk of old money, I’m not only talking about the obvious families such as the Dangotes, Otedolas, Alakijas, Adenugas et. al, I’m also talking about people who are silently stinking wealthy, but just don’t toot their own horn. Heck, if you see them at The Palms, you might not even know that they can buy the whole shopping complex and still have plenty change left. That is real wealth.

Au contraire, new money or the nouveau riche, as the French so sophisticatedly say, are the ones who just acquired a bunch of money quickly like yesterday. Because they have been living in perpetual poverty and mediocrity all their lives, the sudden acquisition of so much money automatically shacks them and they inadvertently start manifesting. Symptoms of that manifestation include:
1) Posting pictures of their status symbols such as cars, houses and the all-too-obvious culprit for women – bags.
2) Going to the club or lounge or restaurant and publicly buying expensive drinks and food for people they don’t know and would never meet again in their entire lives.
3) Singing, Instant-messaging or blogging about their money and/or acquisitions just in case you don’t already know.

Quite frankly, I tire of seeing these forced, tacky, cheap attempts at validation by people who have just stumbled upon money (notice I say money and not wealth because they are actually two different things. Money can create wealth, but wealth is so much bigger than just having money). Their attempts reek of desperation and believe me when I say that such tacky people will not be well accepted into circles of real wealth – at least until they change their poverty mentality. Yes, you heard me right. The nouveau riche who exhibit the tacky traits I listed above do so because they suffer from a poverty mentality. They feel they need to prove to themselves and everyone else that they are not poor; that they have arrived, that they have climbed up the ladder and now have improved status.

Well guess what? It’s not necessary. It’s completely unnecessary to act that way. I believe most rich people like to also be described as classy…Well, there’s “absolutely nothing” classy about rubbing your money in people’s faces…at least overtly.

Let me give you a little secret: Real wealth looks simple, natural and unpretentious. A very smart person once said, “Money talks, but wealth whispers.” True wealth invests; it saves; it creates a legacy and an inheritance for posterity.

Please o, an article is enough for the wise. I’m not saying that if you have the money, you shouldn’t buy nice things and flaunt your designer labels. I’m just saying: Do it with tact, taste and class.

And while we’re at it, let us Nigerians abandon this consumer mentality we have adopted as a status symbol and focus on true, real wealth that is larger than we are and can sustain and outlast us.

Then will we have true respect from the Old-money tycoons…and everybody else!

By Abimbola Awotesu For


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